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Let's Talk Human Resource Management (HRM) Grad Programs!
#1
Hi all,

This thread is intended to be a "bridge" between my undergrad journey thread, and a future graduate journey thread.

I hope you'll jump in with your thoughts and ideas.

I'm a few weeks from completing all of the requirements for my BA in Psychology from TESU, and I'm already thinking about what's next.

I'm currently working as a Sr. Benefits Analyst for a large healthcare organization. Within the next 12-18 months, I'm going to start looking to become an HR Manager for the first time, likely in a smaller organization, and I want to already be well into a grad program in Human Resource Management (HRM) at that time.

There aren't a ton of affordable options out there (at least, not that I've been able to find), and from the searching I've been able to do, I've been primarily eyeballing these two programs:
  • Fort Hays State University - Master of Professional Studies, Human Resource Management
  • Colorado State University Global Campus - Master of Science, Human Resource Management
Both are appealing to me for various reasons.

FHSU is incredibly inexpensive all things considered (under $9,000). It's also short (30 units), and the coursework is very tightly related to my interests and field of study. However, the fact that it's an MPS, and not an MS, concerns me a bit. It's also on a traditional semester calendar, and I've always struggled with that. In addition, because of the timing of my BA completion, I may have to wait up to 9 months to start taking classes.

CSU-GC is longer (36 units) and pricier (about $16,000), but it's a regular Master of Science degree, there are available concentrations (i.e., Healthcare Management) that are highly appealing to me, and perhaps most importantly, CSU-GC offers courses in 8 week blocks, with rolling start dates.

I'd love to hear about additional options that others out there might be aware of. I'm trying to avoid MBA-HR programs, as the accounting/finance/math courses will slow me down dramatically, and at my age, I have to think about time to degree completion.  Big Grin

That's all from me for now. What do y'all think?



I'm going to throw another quick thought out here as well...

I was just looking at my original thread, and noticed that it began on 12/7/17, which means I'll complete my BA degree requirements 12 months and 1 week after I started. If I were willing to pursue a MSML from WGU, there's a small chance that I actually *could* finish in the 20 month window I originally gave myself!!  Big Grin

(Of course, that isn't the most important thing here, but the re-discovery of the timeline opened my mind to this new possibility.) 

But I'm not 100% sure how important it is for me to pursue an HRM degree. My undergrad is in Psychology, so one of my degrees should probably be directly HR-related. On the other hand, I have nearly 20 years of HR experience already, and if I want to be a manager, the MSML from WGU could potentially make sense.

It's also a degree I could likely finish in considerably less than 2 years, and as I've mentioned, time is of the essence for me.

What do you think?
Bachelor of Arts: Psychology - TESU (pending conferral)
120/120 units complete

SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources)
Anticipated Completion Date: 3/31/2019

Master of Human Resource Management - CSU Global
Start Date: 7/1/2019
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#2
I can't offer much other to say that I've also been looking at the MSML. From what I gather, while it isn't an HR specific degree, the MSML is commonly associated with people in HR Leadership roles. Not exclusively of course but its one of the common targets I see listed.

You should probably first consider your goal in pursuing a masters degree. That may help inform your decision-making; once you understand that you can see which degree better supports your goal. If you're doing it to be a better leader and manager, then the MSML may be better. If you're doing it to become a stronger contributor in the HR field, maybe the HRM degree would be better. If one has more recognition or acceptance in your field, that might help make your decision easier. If you don't need a masters degree at all, that is another input.

Depending on your goals, you find you want to go a completely different direction or none at all.

Hopefully that helps.
In Progress: MBA (IT Management), Western Governors University (31/35cu | Nov 2019)
Up Next: Perhaps an MSCS or a DBA/DM/Ph.D.

Complete:
BSBA in Computer Information Systems, 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM in Computer Science, 2019, Thomas Edison State University

B&M CC: 8.68cr, TESU: 3cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(121.68 credits total. 95 credits earned in 10 months, with 45 of those earned in ~3 months)

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#3
(11-07-2018, 09:59 PM)Merlin Wrote: Depending on your goals, you find you want to go a completely different direction or none at all.

Thank you - that does help!

At this point, I just want to be able to land an HR Manager job. Nearly 20 years into my career, and I haven't even been able to sniff a Manager role - largely due (I think) to my lack of an undergrad degree.

I want to make it a no-brainer for a hiring manager from the education side, and the grad-level HRM should do that. But an MSML and a PHR/SPHR Certification might do that as well, and would be at least a year faster.
Bachelor of Arts: Psychology - TESU (pending conferral)
120/120 units complete

SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources)
Anticipated Completion Date: 3/31/2019

Master of Human Resource Management - CSU Global
Start Date: 7/1/2019
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#4
A traditional semester system makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.

I wish APU had a HR masters degree, as they're cheaper and have the 8-week rolling start system.
TESU BSBA in HR, 2018
WVNCC BOG AAS,
 2017
GGU Cert in Management, 2000

EXAMS: TECEP Tech Writg, Engl Comp 2, LA Math, Public Rel, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int Alg, Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
B&M COURSESPalomar CollMission Coll, Golden Gate Univ, San Jose State Univ
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#5
Nodaclu Wrote:
Merlin Wrote:Depending on your goals, you find you want to go a completely different direction or none at all.

Thank you - that does help!

At this point, I just want to be able to land an HR Manager job. Nearly 20 years into my career, and I haven't even been able to sniff a Manager role - largely due (I think) to my lack of an undergrad degree.

I want to make it a no-brainer for a hiring manager from the education side, and the grad-level HRM should do that. But an MSML and a PHR/SPHR Certification might do that as well, and would be at least a year faster.

I like the competency-based or test out options, so I would recommend you to stick with WGU's MSML as is it ACBSP. The PHR/SPHR are recognized certs, that should be enough to get you into management. The 3 things I recommend is 1) Experience, 2) Degree, 3) Certs. You've got the EXP already, you're just missing the Degree of choice and the Certs of your choice.

dfrecore Wrote:A traditional semester system makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.

I wish APU had a HR masters degree, as they're cheaper and have the 8-week rolling start system.

LOL, same here - I don't like the traditional semester system either. Any course longer than two or three months gets boring for me.
Done: TESU ASNSM Biology, ASBA/BSBA (ACBSP Accredited in 2017)
Working on: TESU BA Biology & Computer Science
Deferred: **Deciding on several Masters/PHD programs**

2018 BALS and BSBA Spreadsheet using mainly SL/Study.com (post#28,31)
The Basic Approach | DegreeForum Community Supported Wiki
~Review Beginners Guide sticky for info on TESU BALS/BSBA in 4 months (post #16)
~Note: Read Wiki guide links for TESU equivalency - CLEP/DSST/SL/Study.com, etc
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#6
I'm not really certain that a Masters degree is required for promotion into management. I would do a lot of work to research this before making your decision. If companies are requesting certs, that might be a better use of your time. I am going to GUESS that you'd do better with a PHR/SPHR than a MA/MS.
TESU BSBA in HR, 2018
WVNCC BOG AAS,
 2017
GGU Cert in Management, 2000

EXAMS: TECEP Tech Writg, Engl Comp 2, LA Math, Public Rel, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int Alg, Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
B&M COURSESPalomar CollMission Coll, Golden Gate Univ, San Jose State Univ
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#7
(11-07-2018, 08:02 PM)Nodaclu Wrote: ...
It's also a degree I could likely finish in considerably less than 2 years, and as I've mentioned, time is of the essence for me.

What do you think?

I think I would make a serious effort at landing the position I wanted with just the bachelor's in hand. Nothing wrong with pursuing these certs or grad degrees in the meantime, but you might just land a great position immediately. Especially with the great job market we currently enjoy.
NanoDegree: Intro to Self-Driving Cars (2019)
Coursera: Stanford Machine Learning (2019)
TESU: BA in Comp Sci (2016)
TECEP:Env Ethics (2015); TESU PLA:Software Eng, Computer Arch, C++, Advanced C++, Data Struct (2015); TESU Courses:Capstone, Database Mngmnt Sys, Op Sys, Artificial Intel, Discrete Math, Intro to Portfolio Dev, Intro PLA (2014-16); DSST:Anthro, Pers Fin, Astronomy (2014); CLEP:Intro to Soc (2014); Saylor.org:Intro to Computers (2014); CC: 69 units (1980-88)

PLA Tips Thread - TESU: What is in a Portfolio? - InstantCert Credit
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#8
I vote for the WGU MSML - it's fast (potentially), its affordable (especially if your current employer will pay towards it), it applies to your field (on the broad spectrum) and it allows you to check of that "Master Degree" box that no certificate can do.  Mixed with your years of experience it seem like the logical winner for career advancement.   I remember when you were worried if the BA in Psychology would be 'good enough' for HR career advancement - and look at you now! Smile

Thomas Edison State University (TESU) 
- BSBA General Management, December 2018
- ASNSM in Computer Science, December 2018
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#9
Thank you for the additional thoughts and advice!

For some reason, my local HR job market is highly competitive. Even with my experience, I've struggled to even land an HR Generalist job in recent years. As grateful as I am for my current role, I'm largely in it because of who I knew. I'm the only one on a team of 20 that doesn't have an undergrad degree.

HR Specialist, LOA Specialist, and many more positions that I'm overqualified for by experience, have been beyond my grasp, with Recruiters telling me that without a Bachelor's Degree and a PHR, they can't even consider me, since all of my competitors have both.

In fact, there's someone in my department one level below me, who has an MBA, that can't break into Management.

I've done enough research to know that this isn't the case everywhere else, but for some strange reason, the Sacramento region is ridiculously competitive in the HR space. All that said, there's a chance that I'll go get my PHR and then try to apply for HR Manager positions to see how things go before fully committing to a Master's program.
Bachelor of Arts: Psychology - TESU (pending conferral)
120/120 units complete

SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources)
Anticipated Completion Date: 3/31/2019

Master of Human Resource Management - CSU Global
Start Date: 7/1/2019
Reply
#10
(11-08-2018, 01:37 PM)Nodaclu Wrote: Thank you for the additional thoughts and advice!

For some reason, my local HR job market is highly competitive. Even with my experience, I've struggled to even land an HR Generalist job in recent years. As grateful as I am for my current role, I'm largely in it because of who I knew. I'm the only one on a team of 20 that doesn't have an undergrad degree.

HR Specialist, LOA Specialist, and many more positions that I'm overqualified for by experience, have been beyond my grasp, with Recruiters telling me that without a Bachelor's Degree and a PHR, they can't even consider me, since all of my competitors have both.

In fact, there's someone in my department one level below me, who has an MBA, that can't break into Management.

I've done enough research to know that this isn't the case everywhere else, but for some strange reason, the Sacramento region is ridiculously competitive in the HR space. All that said, there's a chance that I'll go get my PHR and then try to apply for HR Manager positions to see how things go before fully committing to a Master's program.

I didn't know you lived in Sacramento!  I'm from there, we moved to San Diego about 8 years ago and never looked back.  I have several friends that work at Sutter.  One in training, one in IT.

I think the Sac job market is funky - so I get what you're going through.  BUT, I still think the PHR is your best bet for now, plus any experience you get doing what you're doing now.  Also, I would spend a lot of time networking.  I think that will pay off in ways that a MBA will not (as your co-worker can attest to).  A degree is just a degree - but who you know matters, especially in a small town like Sac (yeah, I know it's not that small, but in a weird way, it really is).

And again, do the research.  You got a job that some said could only be had with a degree, which was proven false.  Keep looking, keep researching, keep expanding your network.

(11-08-2018, 12:52 PM)allvia Wrote: I vote for the WGU MSML - it's fast (potentially), its affordable (especially if your current employer will pay towards it), it applies to your field (on the broad spectrum) and it allows you to check of that "Master Degree" box that no certificate can do.

The PHR is not just any old certificate - it is basically THE certificate in the HR world.  The only other one out there is SHRM.  It's like saying that if you worked in IT, certificates don't matter much.  They matter a LOT, especially certain ones that pertain to what you're doing.

If you look at mid-level+ HR jobs, almost every single one will require or at least request a PHR/SHRM certification.  It is almost universal.

You should always look locally to see which cert is more requested in your area.  SHRM used to have a very strong presence in Sacramento, so you may want to look at that instead (or in addition to the PHR).

Last point - you may want to sign up for the PHR/SHRM as a student if possible. Then the requirements for length of time in HR are not required.
TESU BSBA in HR, 2018
WVNCC BOG AAS,
 2017
GGU Cert in Management, 2000

EXAMS: TECEP Tech Writg, Engl Comp 2, LA Math, Public Rel, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int Alg, Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
B&M COURSESPalomar CollMission Coll, Golden Gate Univ, San Jose State Univ
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